Ludhiana, November 20
In a major stride towards road safety, Punjab was able to eliminate 482 black spots, while 281 new accident-prone areas were identified in the state during the past year, a recent report has revealed.
What is black spot
The road accident black spot on the national highway is a road stretch of about 500m in length in which either 5 road accidents, involving fatalities or grievous injuries, have taken place or 10 fatalities have been reported during the last three calendar years. Punjab had adopted this definition for the entire state, covering all highways, and had undertaken the task of identification and rectification of accidental black spots in the state on the directions of then Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan in April 2021 with an aim to make the state roads safer and smoother for driving.
‘Aim to improve road safety’
The primary purpose to identify black spots is to further improve traffic management on roads through scientific and data-driven techniques, ultimately contributing to the overall improvement in road safety. — Amardeep Singh Rai, ADGP Traffic, Punjab
This was made possible due to the sustained road safety campaign being undertaken in the border state, which had also helped in decreasing road accident deaths whereas the country and the neighbouring states of Haryana and Rajasthan had recorded a rise in fatalities during 2022.
With a maximum of 106 black spots, which included 71 old and 35 newly identified, Ludhiana continues to carry the dubious distinction of being the “most accident-prone” district in the state.
A report on the identification and rectification of accident black spots in Punjab was prepared by the Punjab Road Safety and Traffic Research Centre (PRSTRC) with the help of the Punjab Police.
Sharing details, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Traffic, Amardeep Singh Rai, told The Tribune here on Monday that during Phase-III of accident black spot identification process for year 2019-21, it was found that a total of 583 black spots, as per the definition of Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, exist on various roads of Punjab.
“Of the total 784 black spots identified in Punjab during the Phase I (2016-18) and Phase II (2017-19), as many as 483, which account for 61.48 per cent, have been eliminated, while 302, constituting 38.52 per cent, still exist during Phase III of the black spot identification process for year 2019-21,” he disclosed.
Rai, who has been spearheading the sustained road safety campaign for the past few years and has recently constituted the country’s first road safety force in the state, said the elimination of over 61 per cent of the accident black spots, with reduction of road accidents and fatalities, had made a significant contribution in the reduction of overall road accidents in Punjab.
During the study period from 2019 to 2021, a total of 281 new accident black spots emerged on the highways in the state.
In Punjab, 2,994 people had lost their lives in 3,872 road accidents from 2019 to 2021 at 583 black spot locations, accounting for 29.7 per cent of the total road fatalities during this three-year period.
PRSTRC Director Dr Navdeep Asija, who is also Traffic Advisor to Punjab, said of the 302 recurring/ existing accident black spots analysed, a significant 83.8 per cent were located on national highways, 7.6 per cent on state highways, 4.6 per cent on urban MC roads and 3 per cent were marked on major district roads, signifying areas requiring targeted improvements.
Additionally, other district roads and rural roads collectively represent a smaller 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, share of the identified black spots.
“This distribution underscores the urgency of prioritising safety measures on national and state highways to substantially reduce accidents and enhance road safety in Punjab,” the ADGP (Traffic) asserted.
National highways most fatal
While a maximum of 65.1 per cent of accident-prone locations were found on national highways, state highways contributed to 13.2 per cent of new black spots. Besides, 8.5 per cent exist on urban MC roads, 5.7 per cent on major district roads, 2.5 per cent on other district roads and 5 per cent on rural roads, emphasising the need for a comprehensive approach to road safety improvements across diverse road types in the region.
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